Education department allegedly suspends managers

Education allegedly suspends managers

Various managers working at the Free State Department of Education’s warehouses across the province have allegedly been suspended.

Some of the employees working at the department’s book and stationery warehouse based in Bloemfontein have revealed to Voice that they last saw their manager reporting to duty the previous Wednesday.

They also claimed that the manager at the Koffiefontein warehouse and other warehouses around the province have been sacked as well.

They alleged that the department did not notify any of them about the suspensions, however, they believed it could be in connection with the maladministration and allegations of fraud and corruption that have been transpiring at the various warehouses.

The Anti-crime and Corruption Unit of the department has been investigating shenanigans at these warehouses. Private investigations have also been conducted.

There are eleven warehouses across the province. According to sources, two chief clerks from Xhariep Municipality have been suspended, as well as supervisors.

The suspensions are based on on-going investigations within the department regarding intimidation of employees, among others. Most employees have been intimidated, allegedly by their supervisors, due to their working conditions.

The various warehouses have been under the spotlight after Voice revealed working conditions of the employees as well as how the contract employees were still earning peanuts and struggled to apply for social grants offered by the RDP because they had Persal numbers.

The appointment of workers here has been the reason the Public Servants Association of South Africa (PSA) declared a dispute with the department.

The department decided that it was premature to say whether these workers would be permanently employed before their three-year contract would end in December this year.

The contracted employees said they have pleaded with the department for years to be employed permanently.

Most of the employees working at these warehouses have been hired because of political connections and some of their positions were created as ghost workers (as they earned salaries) while not doing any work.

They said, although having Persal numbers (the payment system for officials), they were employed on a contract basis. They earned peanuts and were also not eligible for child support grants or RDP houses.

Voice also published a story after some officials handed over payslips from a boot of a car and on some of their payslips the job descriptions were listed wrongfully, stating the employees were doing administrative jobs. – Refilwe Gaeswe